Friday, 30 March 2012

Marie Claire: Up Late on James Street

Last night I went along with my plus one in his official photographer capacity, to Marie Claire Up Late on James Street.

Fab heals and Marie Clarie at Nat Sui.

The event was held to celebrate the recently released 200th edition of the magazine and was a celebration of the Australian fashion industry. Shops stayed open late, provided drinks and nibbles and amazing discounts. There were talks with the designers themselves, meet and greets with members of the Marie Claire team - a real fashionista street party, and there were hundreds of beautiful people out and about enjoying themselves.

Shoes and booze outside Rebecca Manning and Tom Gunn.

Street theatre and music outside Camilla.

Advance preview of EP by Easton Pearson. Advance notification: beautiful fabrics and patterns, loved it all!

The crowds inside Sass & Bide.

Since I'm on a no-spending limit at the moment, I didn't appreciate the night quite as much as the hundreds of fashionistas drfiting in and out of shops, enjoying the music, the crowds and the free sparkling. I came this close to getting a beautiful summer dress from Leona Edmiston Vintage but it didn't fit quite right. So at the end of the night all I came home with was my Marie Claire goodie bag.

Though I kind of wish I had picked some of this up from The Dawn.

Still, it was great fun and I got to check out a few new shops on James Street, and a few pop-up stores for designers we don't get much of up here. There was also fantastic crowd-watching opportunites and if I'd been a fashion blogger I would have been spoilt for choice for street shots. However, I left that up to Moshpitson, who was official social photographer for The Good Guide.

Window display at Frockshop.

I don't know what the official Marie Claire verdict will be, but from where I was standing it was a great fashion night out in Brisbane and a lot of fun.

Five for Friday no. 12

No one really likes airline food. Or I should qualify, no one really likes economy class airline food. I only like it because it’s a temporary distraction. However, I want to experience this airline food:

“For two weeks in April, British Airways is launching a pop-up restaurant in London based around the flight experience. Called Flight BA2012, for £50 you’re treated to a three-course meal inspired by BA menu’s from 1948, prepared by a real chef – overseen by Heston Blumenthal – inside what looks like an aircraft.”

T-Rex trying. Baha!

How the Lord of the Rings should have ended.

Last week it was a bitter tumblr, now it’s a slightly upsetting website that looks into cool people’s apartments. Again, there is jealousy. But fewer terrariums. Apartment Therapy.

Someone made a busines out of making your resume look cool.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Dear fellow driver,

Dear fellow driver who is going at 45km/hr in a 60 zone,

You have no right to that 'I (heart) jet packs' sticker.



Friday, 23 March 2012

Rowan Atkinson, 'The Conductor'

When you work with musicians, this is what goes around the office on a Friday afternoon. Rowan Atkinson is always hilarious, but for some reason, knowing a conductor makes this even funnier, I think.


Five for Friday no.11

For anyone else who sees photos beautiful, eclectic but well-thought out interiors and thinks to themselves: I want that, but I will never have it because I have neither the time nor money to achieve it, you will enjoy this tumblr.

Our state election is tomorrow – finally! - so here is a little interactive map of the great state of Qld with sitting state members, their affiliation and margin.

Bensimon canvas shoes. I spotted through Cup of Jo and if I didn't already have an unhappy credit card, I would buy some. Shall put it off until summer because they look perfect for hot summer days.

Ok, this one is a little random but adorable. Online luxury shopping destination Luisa Via Roma has teamed up with UNICEF to raise money in a campaign called "Pug dogs for Happy Kids". Twenty-one top fashion designers have 'dressed' a toy pug in the style of heir fashion house and the dogs are being sold on ebay to raise money. This is Viktor and Rolf's offering:

I've loved the idea of glitter eyeshadow ever since I first saw Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a Million (One of my favourite movies. Never seen it? You must. This weekend!). In a scene with the delectable Peter O'Toole, she was in black lace Givency with a veil like an eye mask covering half her face and when she looked down, her eyelids sparked with silver glitter then disappeared again in a moment.
Unfortunately, when I googled 'glitter eye make up',well, it was not so pretty. With the exception of the incomparable Ms Hepburn.
So here is a photo montage of beautiful glitter eye make up.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

10 things kids of today will never experience

An age ago I found this listing on So Bad So Good: 10 things the kids of today will never experience and to be truthful, it got me all misty-eyed and reminiscent.

The ten things are:
  1. Making mix tapes for your friends.
    Or your boyfriend / girlfriend. I remember the last two mixed tapes I was ever given. The penultimate one was when I got my driving licence and a friends with super-excellent taste made me a tape of songs to play while driving. The last and final time I ever received a mixed tape was when I started dating this awesome guy and he couldn't believe I only had a tape deck in my car. So he made me a super-excellent mixed tape. I still have them both.
  2. Not actually knowing who is calling.
    For extra reminiscent points, I would change this to having to call someone's home number to speak to them. Remember before we had mobile phones and you had to call a person's house if you wanted to talk? You hoped that they would answer to avoid embarrassing parent conversation but that never happened. Worse was when you h

    ad to call someone you liked, you were calling a strange house and it was terrifying. My high-school boyfriend was a border at school and calling a boarding house main-line is beyond scary. Kids these days have it easy. You call a mobile,you know who is going to answer!

  3. Flip phones.

    I remember when the slide phone in The Matrix was so cool. I got my first flip phone years after they came out but I was still excited. It was so much fun! Pretty much can't get them now.

  4. Actually needing a watch.
    Before mobiles made us their slaves, we had all these different devises for different purposes. One was a watch. I still have a watch because I love watches, I always have worn a watch and I always will wear a watch. Plus, there are times when it's just too damn rude or obvious to check the time on your phone. Much easy to glance at a wrist.
  5. Taking cool polaroid photos.
    This was a bit pre-my time actually. I was thrilled when I was given a polaroid camera for my birthday one year. So funky and retro! But that was back when normal people could afford to buy the film. If I could afford it, I would go polaroid-crazy.
  6. Getting up to change the TV channel.
    Yeah, I never did this.
  7. The sound of dial-up.
    Ah, that magical mechanical sound that meant your computer was attempting to connect you to 'the internet'. I almost don't recognise it now when I hear it. It reminds me of late primary school when 'the internet' first arrived in our house. Patiently waiting the couple of minutes it took to connect properly and get a strong signal. And then someone would call the homeline because we didn't have mobiles back then and you got kicked of and had to start al over again! Grrr...
  8. Cool and unsafe toys.
    I'm a bit stumped here because I'm not on to what has been deemed 'unsafe' in the last few years. Can you still play with cap guns? Can you still jump on trampolines? Can you still play with toys that have small parts you can swallow? Or are kids not allowed to have fun anymore?
  9. MTV – when they actually played music.
    Yeah, we didn't have MTV at home. But when I've overseas and I find the MTV channel, it never has music on it. What's with that?!?
  10. Amazing cartoons.
    Oh my god. I could go on forever. Weekend cartoons now a days make me despair. They all look the same! Or that dodgy 3D rubbish. Or just … awful! The Flintstones, Ducktails, Captain Planet, Babar, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Samurai Pizza Cats, Super Ted, I could go on. Cartoons were SO much better when I was young.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Remix this

There's a dude on YouTube who makes the best movie remixes. I first encountered the Alice vid...

Then I caught a link to the Snow White one just this morning...

And there's heaps of others, they're all pretty awesome! Enjoy!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Pulp Fiction as told by Shakespeare...

Sometimes, people are geniuses...

The death of the Encyclopaedia

It was announced today that after 244 years on the press, Encyclopaedia Britannica stopped printing.

It isn’t that surprising. With Google, Wikipedia, and all the rest of the internet, the physical Encyclopaedia has become obsolete.

Never the less it saddens me, as I suspect it will sadden many people of my age or older for whom the Encyclopaedias had a special place in our childhoods.

Encyclopaedia Britannica was the first stop for any school assignment. Before you could Google, the standard parental answer for a question they couldn’t answers was ‘Look it up in the Encyclopaedia.’ One version or it or other was always on my school assignment bibliographies.

We never owned a set in my family, but friends down the road did and I loved looking through their 1988 copy. My playmate wasn’t quite so into ‘Vesuvius’ and ‘Leopard’ as I was and couldn’t understand the fascination.

That was the thing about the Encyclopaedias – they had a shelf life. A new version came out every year, like the OED. No one ever owned a new copy, every version I ever saw was at least 7 years old and very out of date. My Dad once caved in on my complaining about not having an Encyclopaedia and bought … an electronic version! Oh the excitement! Oh the novelty. But this was before the idea of program updates, so it too aged and withered and became obsolete for almost anything that wasn’t to do with the ancient or natural world. The pyramids were still the pyramids in every version.

Since high school I have Googled rather than referenced and had almost forgotten the existence of encyclopaedias of any kind until I recently saw a re-run of Friends where Joey is sold the ‘V’ volume by a door-to-door salesman.

I was going to say that today marked the end of an era, but the reality is that the era of the family Encyclopaedia as the font of all knowledge ended a long time ago.

R.I.P Encyclopaedia Britannica.

For a full article in the New York Times.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Scarf challenge - Thursday and Friday

Scarf day 5.

Another never-before-worn scarf. My parents brought this back for me from Syria. They visited the country some 2 years ago in a break between civil disturbances. Its huge and has the craziest mix of colours - brown, navy, black and then the vibrant aqua green you see so prominently. Jazzing up a very lazy Thursday outfit.

Scarf day 6, otherwise known as Friday.

Photo taken with Retro Camera - the only fancy photo ap on my phone. This is one of my absolute favourite scarves. Gifted from my Mum because she never wears it any more. It's Jane Shilton, though that doesn't mean a lot to me, and it goes with everything. It even works as a cummerbund!

Five for Friday no. 10

The story behind the Keep Calm and Carry On poster. See Jane's blog tribute to the iconic posters.

Your Scene Sucks - be prepared to be mocked.

Brisbane Threads: a Brisbane-centric fashion blog. There really aren't that many of these so check it out!

A tumblr of fashions from Betty and Veronica, of Archie comic fame. Um, hell yes!

I love both of these outfits!

Josephine Baker was a legendary nightclub dancer in 1920s Paris. Her wild and erotic dancing made her an instant success on the stage but she went on to have a hugely successful career in America and her adopted home of France, even receiving military honours for her work with the French Resistance during World War 2. You may recognise this very famous image:

Well, here is some original footage of Josephine and her 'banana dance'.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Drunk cooking is the best cooking

A little while ago, someone sent me a link to the first episode of My Drunk Kitchen.

Many, many youtube videos and a lot of hilarity later, I had a new favourite person.


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

I don't know how much everyone knows about the whole Proposition 8 thing - a trial about gay marriage in California - but this is a reading of a really excellent play about the trial, written by Dustin Lance Black. The cast is amazing, and features George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer, Matt Bomer and Matthew Morrison.

The video will apparently only be available for a limited time - it's the whole, 2-hour play - and it's excellent viewing if you've got the time.


Scarf challenge - day 3 and 4

Another Tuesday another work day. I put on a dress I felt like wearing and then struggled for quite a while to figure out how to get a scarf to work with the outfit. I wanted to wear a scarf I hadn't yet worn, and I'd used up all my navy options! So it was time for an orange, cream and purple scarf I'd bought in a vintage store in London. It was the only item I could afford in the whole shop, actually.

Day 4 - Wednesday

Today I picked my scarf first and then constructed my outfit around it. Unfortunately, the outfit I came up with was mightily boring. But I was wearing a scarf and again it was one I had never worn before!

100% silk made in India. From my Grandma's collection.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

My week with the theatre

Between last Tuesday 28th and this Monday 5th I have spent 4 nights out at the theatre. I don’t know about you, but that’s a little above my weekly average. Two nights I went out with family and friends and two nights I took myself out, because I am excellent company. I can’t possible review everything I saw and anyway, they’ve (almost) all been reviewed by persons much more erudite than my poor self. So here is a recap:

Tuesday 28 Feb: My Week With Marilyn

I’ve been wanting to see this movie since the trailer was released, so I am thrilled I managed to do it. An impeccable cast, brilliant costumes and set. Michelle Williams puts on a stellar performance as Marilyn and though you are conscious that it is Michelle playing Marilyn rather than Marilyn, she produces an amazing emotional performance and you get to see every side of Marilyn – the star, the actress, the little girl lost, the seductress, all in a short 1.5 hours. Eddie Redemayne as Colin was delicious to look at as well, which didn’t hurt. 
The only issue I had was that I kept expecting ‘the week’ – for Marilyn and protagonist to disappear for a whole week – and it never happened. Only realised afterwards – oh, that was the week. That may not make sense now, but see the film and you’ll get it.

Friday 2 March: The Artist

Another film I’d been meaning to go and see. I thought I’d missed it as the showings at my local cinema reduced down to 2:30pm daily but thanks to the Oscars I got a second chance to make it. You’ve probably all heard of The Artist – a silent black and while film that won the most recent Best Picture award at the Oscars. The film centres around a big-time silent film star at the time of the introduction of talkies. It is brilliant. So well done. The actors have to walk that fine line between the ham-acting of the silent era and subtle but emotive acting of our own film era. It’s different from anything else you’re going to see so it’s a must. It would even be acceptable to my mother because there is no violence and of course, no swear words. Go see it.

Did I mention there is a dog?

Saturday 3 March: As You Like It by La Boite Theatre Company

Shakespeare can be difficult and over-done. La Boite, in their increasingly sexy and fabulous seasons have had much success with Shakespeare, most notably their version of Hamlet to kick off the 2011 season. The last time I enjoyed Shakespeare was a production of Shakespeare’s Shorts which was just hilarious.

Updating Shakespeare can be tricky. I remember a QTC (I think) production of Romeo and Juliet that was criticised for ‘modernising’ to have the actors using ipods and computers, mobile phones etc. The whole tragedy of Romeo and Juliet rests on mis-communication. If Romeo, Juliet and the Priest had had mobiles phones than all that tragic-death part could have been avoided.

La Boite updates As You Like It very cleverly, bringing in some modern costuming and culture - for example, the play opens with some UFC-style wrestling - to avoid falling into the trap of giving us a stuffy, histrionic version of Shakespeare.

Aside from the beautiful hair of the lead actor, what made this production a delight for me was the staging. Beautiful, imaginative, involved with the audience – an utter delight.
I must also say thank you and kudos to the wonderful staff at La Boite who gave me a replacement ticket when it was discovered that, for the first time in my life, I had booked a ticket on the wrong day. Not all theatres would have been so accommodating.

Image courtesy of La Boite Theatre Company Online Gallery.
Monday 5 March – The Brolly Follies

This might be the one and only review you read of this how because it was on for ONE NIGHT ONLY. So it doesn’t really matter what I think, either.

The Brolly Follies was a night of cabaret starring the actors and ensemble from Mary Poppins with all the proceeds going to the Starlight Foundation. It was an absolute delight to hear these professionals singers performer in a relaxed, casual environment songs that they themselves would have chosen . Songs as diverse as Summertime, Be Italian (from the movie Nine), Do You Remember (from the upcoming production of Peter Pan), Rolling in the Deep.

My stand out favourites were a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons-style ‘Is you is or is you ain’t my baby’ by five bow-tied and brillo-creamed male members of the ensemble and another five piece song specially put together for the night. Five of the female actresses singing their woes at always being asked to sing alto. It is quite an education to hear well known classics sung below the melody.
A brilliant night and if it had been on again I would recommend everyone go to see it. I also mention it because the only reason I knew it was on was through the Judith Wright Centre’s twitter feed

Twitter has a use; who’d have known?

Saigon to Da Lat to Nha Trang

We left Saigon quite early - said goodbye to our guesthouse at 7am, and were on the bus by 8am. We struck up a conversation with the guys across the aisle from us, as you do, and talked to them on and off throughout the journey. They were father and son, travelling from south to north like we were. The father picked our accents immediately, he was from Sydney but had moved to Belgium 40 years ago. They'd made several trips to Australia, as well.

The trip started in the heart of the city, travelling outwards. As we headed towards Da Lat, we passed rural areas and drove through several small towns. The view from the bus window was limiting, but it was interesting to look at the towns as we passed them. The buildings varied from newer houses, built the faux-colonial style and brightly painted in every colour from lime green to pale blue to fuschia, to barely-standing shacks made of corrugated iron and tarpaulin.

We gradually climbed higher and higher - high enough for my ears to pop - and reached Da Lat. A minibus drove us from the station to our accom, the Pink House Villa Hotel. Which was definitely pink, a solid cerise, with polished marble floors and lots of timber inside. The room was nice and clean, with a tiny balcony, but given the temperature had dropped to the low twenties.

Furnished with a map from the hotel owner, we set off downhill. Da Lat was apparently one of the few places neither side bombed during the Vietnam (American?) War, and the difference was subtle but clear - the buildings were all real colonial, not the post-war versions. The consistency showed. The streetscapes were classic European spa town, but with Vietnamese language, street-sellers, and most importantly traffic.

The Pink Villa's owner had invited us for dinner with some other guests, to be followed by karaoke. We had our doubts, but went back int time to go along. Dinner was delicious - a hot pot with chicken and tofu (the best tofu I've ever had, and I don't loathe tofu) with lots of greens and ginger - if a little expensive. Then Roc - the owner - took us back up the hill to his karaoke bar.

I say 'his' bar - he didn't own the place, but he used to work there as a professional karaoke singer! The bar was at the top of a hotel, and seemed like the kind of place you'd need local knowledge to find. The Vietnamese take their karaoke very seriously, or these singers were very professional, at least. Roc sang too - all Vietnamese songs, no-one sang anything western. It seemed like an interesting style, very melodramatic, and even the female singers used quite a deep range.

Magnus, another tourist from the hotel, was the only one to come along with us. He was from Manchester, and he and his wife had been travelling in China for 3 months. They'd been in Hoi An, and gave us the name of a tailor they liked!

We left Roc at the karaoke bar; he was going to come home with us, but we were piking pretty early and didn't want to make him leave.

After our early evening, we got up around 5am to check out in time for the minibus to take us to the bus station for our bus to Nha Trang. It was supposed to come at 7; by 7.30, we'd freaked out a little, despite reassurances from the hotel staff to wait just a little longer. We got our stuff, trekked down the hill to the main road, and made it to the bus station only to be told we'd missed our bus! They said there was another bus at 1pm, but then another woman called us back and handed over two tickets for an 8am bus...the one we were supposed to be on all along. So, we decided to go with it, and got on the bus before anyone else could tell us we weren't supposed to be there.

The ride itself was not exciting, but quite picturesque, with lots of farmland and tiny villages. The road wound along the side of the hills, then down across the valley floor. The air got hotter and hotter as we descended.

Nha Trang was hot. We arrived at the bus station, and had to find the tour place to confirm our tickets to Hoi An. The sun was beating down on our heads, so with the "help" of a moto driver, we found a cab (after the ride, we were told to pay the moto driver instead of the cab idea how that works, but pretty sure we got a little ripped off anyway). But we got our tickets, left our bags, and ventured out into the sun to find...something. Something to do, a place to drink, anything to kill the seven hours until our bus left.

We found the beach, and it is a nice spot on the coast. Nice breeze, trees in the park by the water. They'll charge you $20 for a beach umbrella, though...

We wanted to get out of the sun, so we went inland. The streets were all quite bare of both people and trees. We found a bar for lunch, and I swear we didn't do it deliberately, but the place had Fosters beer on tap. And, oddly enough, Christmas carols on the sound system. After lunch, we walked around, checked out the shops, hit the beach again, and walked along the promenade, checking out families, tourists, shmick hotels. We still had around four hours to deal with, and the sun was still beating down. We went inland again, and found a cafe. That killed maybe an hour - we went for dinner in a very-slightly-dodgy looking place on a tourist alley, then gave up and went back to the tour place to wait.

The sleeper bus arrived around 7, and even though it looked cramped, I hoped it'd be better than trying to sleep on the train.

It wasn't, not for me anyway. My berth was underneath, and also over the engine, which made the whole experience unnecessarily warm. Also, the dude in the berth behind me snored. He was so loud, I wanted to kill him.

A few of the other tourists had moved to different berths, so at about midnight, I was fed up enough to switch to a different berth, on the top level by the window. I didn't sleep that much, but it was at least cooler and less noisy without snoring guy.

Then, at about 5am, someone in the back threw up. Audibly. I closed my mouth and blocked my nose, praying we'd reach Hoi An soon.

The scarf challenge, day 1 and 2

Day one: Sunday afternoon birthday party at a friends’ house.

I was having a rare great hair day so I capitalised on this and spent a good 10 minutes arranging my hair with a scarf in a way that I hope didn’t look too foolish. No one told me I looked foolish, so I guess that’s a good sign.

70s-ish acetate scarf from my Grandma.

For Monday I had a full outfit plan, including scarf. Of course when I woke on Monday morning and it was pissing with rain, I had to change my plans because there was no way I was letting my chosen 100% silk scarf outside.

I had some serious outfit issues this morning so I’m afraid to say that I totally piked and took the easy way out.

Scarf on bag at Piaf for lunch.

Monday night at the Brolly Follies: another scarf-bag, but a little different. Note: I recommend only tying up your bag with a pretty scarf bow if you’re not planning on checking your phone / needing your wallet a whole lot throughout the evening. This is not the most practical way to wear a scarf.

In the Judith Wright Centre at interval.

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